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Polish Exile helmet Eagles

Article about: Tony, Thanks for posting that photo, ... I have seen it before when I believe Rafal N. owned one similar. This again is yet another confirmed variant connected to the Parachute Brigade. This

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Tony,
    Thanks for posting that photo, ... I have seen it before when I believe Rafal N. owned one similar.

    This again is yet another confirmed variant connected to the Parachute Brigade.
    This one I have tended to call the 4th pattern, but that is not necessarily because of a possible issue date, it just that it's the 4th variant identified.
    .. Noting that the soldier has the Leather strap - non fibre rim para type helmet, ... I would say that the photo was taken from 1943 onwards.

    Regards



    Gary J.

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Mentioning the "Bridge too far helmets" ....
    In the film, all the Poles seem to be wearing web strap helmets, which I gather were sourced from ex-Belgian stock, so identifying them should not be too difficult !

    Gary J.

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Polish Para 2nd pattern - "Cap Badge" type circa 1942 -1943.

    Gary J.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #14
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    I should really try to explain the up till now four variants of the Polish Para helmet eagle.

    Understanding that when the brigade was formed in 1941, it was far from "Brigade" (3500 men) strength, I suspect that initially there was a single quartermaster covering the members.

    Through 1942 -1943, as the Brigade gained in strength, and increased to 3 airborne battalions plus support troops, .. The quartermasters role would no doubt have been split per battalion at least.
    There is a good chance that there was not a specific pattern for the eagle, and thus each quartermaster MAY have produced his own template to mark up new helmets as required.
    If this is this case, then there is a possibility that infact the eagle styles post 1st pattern may be a battalion style ?

    This is one aspect I have yet to probe into further .. comparing known Battalion photo's which have clear shots of the eagles etc.
    .. And so at present it is only a theory ... ...

    Gary J.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    As always a difficult one to call !!!!

    1st off, the hemlet looks to be a correct AFV WW2 helmet. (Should have the bolt fixing for the liner rather than the "lift the dot" ... hopefully).

    Next, the eagle does show the right hue in colour ! ..
    Even though these initially would show as white when applied, over 60 years, the gas detection type paint used, deteriorates to the more mustard yellow.

    I have had a suggestion put to me to try a geiger counter to the paint to check for reaction, .. which I have yet to try, .. BUT might be a way of possibly confirming the reactive agents present in the original paint.

    Regards

    Gary J.


    Quote by wadowicznic View Post
    G
    I have this hemet in my collectin
    What do You think?
    i am not sure if it is orginal.
    a

  6. #16

    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    This is a great thread

    Going slightly off topic from painted eagles (love that stencil!) if I may, but is there any historical evidence for Polish troops to wear the cap badge metal eagle on the steel helmet? I was looking at one of the Sikorski pics shown is that a metal eagle???

    One of the reasons I ask is I once saw a web strap Para helmet for sale at my late friend's Mike Long's shop many years ago now. The helmet was original as was the cap eagle but I was far from convinced and passsed on it.

    Cheers, Ade.

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Ade,
    There are some examples of helmets in the Sikorski with metal type badges applied to their front, .. but I believe that these If I remember right, are all pre-ww2 examples.

    As for WW2, ... I would be suspect of ANY type of helmet with a metal cap badge applied as being contemporary, ... however, it is not unknown for veterans post war to "modify/enhance" a piece of their own equipment .... a classic example being the Hartenstein para helmet that you posted earlier in the thread (Although in that case a metal badge was not applied).

    Regards

    Gary J.

  8. #18

    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Thank Gary. Your comments mirror my own feelings on the subject, but I was not 100% sure. The helmet I saw at Mike's didn't "do it" for me.

    Cheers, Ade.

  9. #19
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    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Polish 1st Grenadier Division - France 1940.

    Now this is an interesting shot, as it can be clearly seen that the helmet was of previous French issue having the two holes at the front of the helmet to take the French Cockade.
    .. This helmet must have come from French stock to re-equip the Poles of the Division after escaping to France.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  10. #20

    Default Re: Polish Exile helmet Eagles

    Quote by wadowicznic View Post
    G
    I have this hemet in my collectin
    What do You think?
    i am not sure if it is orginal.
    a
    Hello wadowicznic,

    I have seen this eagle pattern on other helmets although I cannot say for certain if it is genuine. I will dig out the pictures from my archives and post them later. Have you considered doing some research at the Sikorski Museum?

    I also own an Mk.II helmet with a unique eagle pattern that remains a mystery to me. I will post pictures along with some details later. I have been trying to determine authenticity ever since taking possession about a year ago, and thus far have been unsuccessful. I have even offered a bounty to friends in the hobby if they could find one period picture of this eagle in use. Itís still up for grabs . . .

    Hopefully both of our answers will be found here as this thread unfolds over the days and weeks ahead.

    Regards,
    Tony

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